Many advisors believe clients need face-to-face contact. But that only works for clients in their 60s, writes Garland, Texas-based financial planner Katie Brewer on Money magazine’s website. Brewer, who targets clients under 50, has made it work as a virtual financial planner, using online tools like Google Hangouts, Skype and JoinMe to conduct client meetings. And the lack of face time? Clients don’t care. In fact, Brewer has found that such Gen X and Y clients actually prefer phone calls and virtual meetings because it saves them time. The approach also lowers Brewer’s overhead; she didn’t have to rent an office in the expensive part of town, for example.
It's time for financial advisors to stop being afraid of robo-advisors and start figuring out how to work with them. Step No. 1? Stop using Excel, writes Susan Glover on advisorwebsites.com. There may be tasks advisors are still doing in a spreadsheet that is better left to more efficient technology. While robo-advisor technology may be no better than what an advisor has, many perceive it that way. The same goes for fees. Robos' low-fee structures won't last forever, but now's a good time to reexamine your fees and how a change will affect clients, Glover writes.
More than 100 financial technology startups met in New York this week to show off their tech and compete for the title of “most innovative fintech company” at the Benzinga Fintech Awards. The top prize went to HedgeCoVest, a West Palm Beach, Florida-based company, for its platform that lets investors replicate hedge funds in their brokerage account. The company also won “best in class” in the “alternative investment vehicle” category, and was named the second most disruptive platform behind Motif Investing.